Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch

Content by Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch

Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.

Scientists have found a previously unknown giant virus in the permafrost of Siberia, a discovery they say is worrying at a time when such frozen soils are rapidly thawing.

Hillary Clinton used Twitter on Tuesday to declare her opposition to Arctic offshore drilling, and her brief statement was applauded by environmentalists, but denounced by Republicans.

Royal Dutch Shell won permission on Monday to start deep drilling at a Chukchi Sea exploration well, opening the way for the company to reach oil.

When the United States last led the eight-nation Arctic Council, September sea ice still covered about 2.3 million square miles, Royal Dutch Shell had just judged its Alaska business to be inconsequential and pulled out of the state, and few people in lower latitudes appeared to give much thought to the Arctic.


With the United States on the verge of leading the eight-nation Arctic Council and far-north climate warming continuing at twice the global rate, President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued an executive order to better manage federal Arctic.